|Edward G. Robinson and Claire Trevor on radio's Big Town|
From Erickson’s book:
Inasmuch as Big Town had devolved from an ‘A’ to a ‘B’ production during its New York run, it makes sense that the long-overdue movie adaptation of the property would be entrusted to the Paramount B-picture division headed by William Pine and William C. Thomas, aka the “Two Dollar Bills.” Though by 1947 the Pine-Thomas unit had become more ambitious and expansive with A-grade pictures like Albuquerque, they would continue supplying Paramount with cheap but popular six-reelers until switching over entirely to more elaborate endeavors in 1949. Among the last of Pine-Thomas’ B productions was the unit’s only continuing series: a quartet of modestly mounted features inspired by the still-popular radio weekly Big Town.
Those programmers were: Big Town (1947—a.k.a. Guilty Assignment), I Cover Big Town (1947—a.k.a. I Cover the Underworld), Big Town After Dark (1947—a.k.a. Underworld After Dark), and Big Town Scandal (1948—a.k.a. Underworld Scandal). After Dark (directed by Thomas from a script by Whitman Chambers, who wrote for the radio series) was available among the offerings on Epix Vault on Demand during our “freeview,” and so I sat down with a punchy little B-pic that begins with Big Trouble in
Little China Big Town: Lorelei Kilbourne (Hillary
Brooke) has decided to quit The
Illustrated Press after her novel
proves a success, and that leaves her on-again, off-again boyfriend Wilson
(played by Pine-Thomas contractee Philip Reed) in the lurch as far as the paper’s
court reporter goes. (No more of that
society slop for Lorelei—girlfriend got a promotion in the movie series.) The Press’
owner, Amos Peabody (Charles Arnt), specifically asks Steve not to hire his
niece Susan (Ann Gillis) for the position.
|Ann Gillis, Philip Reed|
|Lippert stalwart Richard Travis menaces Gillis and Reed|